Last weeks ‘Fly of the week‘ was the Shipmans Buzzer a great emerger pattern which takes it’s fair share of fish. But what happens when the buzzer has hatched and is classed under its ‘adult’ stage. The Hopper is the ideal fly to represent an adult chironomid sitting on the surface. Once the fly has hatched it stays on the surface for a while until it’s wings have dried, allowing the fly to become airborne. Another stage of it’s life where it is extremely vulnerable.
A Kamasan B405 hook is the ideal steel for such hooks. Lightwire and strong, these hooks let the fly sit as high on the surfaces as possible and give anglers peace of mind that the fish of a lifetime wont straighten the hook.
Wind the UTC thread thread onto the hook just behind they eye and lay a layer of thread down the shank. Simply attach a length of UTC Mirage Tinsel to the hook for the rib and create dubbing rope of genuine seals fur, black but choose the colour according to the insect colour on the day. A range of colours is best.
Just like the Shipmans Buzzer wind the seals fur along the hook creating a slim but slightly tapered effect leaving enough room to tie in a thorax. Wind the rib in an opposite direction to the seals fur three times is usually enough to give a segmented effect. Bulk the rest of the fly up with a good amount of seals fur, creating a ‘carrot’ shape, thicker at the head than the tail. Always remember to leave enough room between the thorax and the eye when tying hoppers, there’s a lot of work to do at the end of the fly.
Ready knotted pheasant tails make tying hoppers so much easier and quicker. Sitting there with a dubbing needle and a pheasant tail tying knots in thin and brittle feather can become daunting and very stressful. Pulling 6 of these of a full ready knotted pheasant tail feather makes tying such flies a breeze. Take 6 or so feathers, marry up the tips and simply tie in on the underneath of the hook, trim the waste and prepare the hackle.
Take a hackle feather from a cape, something that will produce enough mass to keep the fly afloat. Remove the waste from the bottom of the feather – this should reveal the stalk and make it easy to tie in. Tie the feather in and attach your hackle pliers, wind the hackle back towards the bend of the hook in touching turns, covering the thread just above the thorax. Tie off and ‘wobble’ the thread between the hackle ensuring not to trap any herls and tie the thread off at the eye.
Hook: Kamasan B405 Size 10
Thread: UTC Black 70 Denier
Rib: UTC Mirage Tinsel
Body: Black Genuine Seals Fur
Thorax: Black Genuine Seals Fur
Legs: 6x knotted hopper legs
Hackle: Black Cock
Written by Kieron Jenkins